NORTH JERSEY - A recent report by the Auto Insurance Center finds that motorists traveling in the northern half of the state spend more than six months of their lifetime waiting in traffic.

The study breaks that down to average about 74 hours a year wasting time in immobile vehicles. The national average is about 42 hours.

A big reason for the longer wait times is due to North Jersey’s proximity to New York City.

“We come from Montclair, so without traffic it should only be 20 to 25 minutes [to get to New York],” says Michelle Peterson. “But realistically, I need a good hour, hour and a half with that tunnel.”

Other motorists say that they are wasting a lot of their hard earned money sitting in traffic jams.

“I spend a lot of money on gas just because of traffic. Somewhere it should take me one tank of gas to go there and back, it's taking me two or three tanks,” says Cedar Grove resident Jonathan Carpenter.

AAA North Jersey’s Stephen Rajczyk says that the delay in construction projects due to the empty transportation trust fund is also contributing to the traffic in the state.

"These projects they're just sitting there and no one is working on them,” Rajczyk says. “Hopefully this will get resolved, we'll get these projects completed.  It'll ease up on our congestion."

The study found that northern New Jersey residents spend more than $1,700 in wasted time and fuel costs. Motorists in central and southern New Jersey spend slightly less, at a little over $1,100.

The Auto Insurance Center says that Bethel Census Area, Alaska has the shortest average commute of seven minutes.